Comfort food from a lost land

Named after a mythical city, Zerzura will surely find its place on the map in the years to come

Published - March 15, 2013 08:54 pm IST - New Delhi

TASTY BITES At Zerzura, a meal for two would cost approximately Rs.4000

TASTY BITES At Zerzura, a meal for two would cost approximately Rs.4000

Finally Delhiites have got a restaurant where they can enjoy authentic food from the Middle East. Shagun Somani’s second restaurant Zerzura in the Clarion Collection Hotel (Qutab Hotel) is named after the mythical land of Zerzura in the Sahara region.

Zerzura has a perfect Moroccan set up with beautiful Marrakesh lamps and comfortable acacia furniture. Like oasis in the middle of the desert, there is semi-private seating for 8-10 people. But it is the food of Zerzura which will make this restaurant popular. The menu is very well balanced, covering most of the traditional delicacies.

Talking with Shagun and Chef Naval Prakash tempted me to order one of my favourite soups — the Moroccan harira. It was made to perfection. The nice aroma of cinnamon and thick texture of chickpea made the soup a delight to taste. For a change I tasted a spoon of bulgar and zafran broth as well; it tasted even better.

The fusion of chicken shawarma and Caesar salad was refreshing too. Zerzura also offers a tasty cold mezze along with traditonal dips., among which muhammara — spicy roasted red pepper and walnut dip — needs a mention for sure. Adasi, a lentil dip, and moutabbal, an eggplant and tahini based dip, also went well with the pita bread.

Sheefa, the popular meat pie, was tasty. Briouats were a bit soggy that day and had suppressed flavours. But you can choose from the kabab section blindly. First I tried the classic Iranian jujeh kabab; they were succulent and flavourful. Tomato chunks and burnt garlic gave the kabab tabei a new dimension.

In main course, I always love to have tagines. When you are at Zerzura, there is nothing better than a cous cous with lamb cutlet, harissa and fennel tagine. The aroma of slowly cooked lamb and fennel sauce was just divine.

Each section has some mouth watering dishes. When I reached the end of the meal, the chef came in with baklava with pistachio ice cream, m’hanncha with cinnamon ice cream and date and fig gratin with rosemary and honey ice cream. Pick any flavour, and I guarantee you will be left mesmerised.

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